Saturday, 15 November 2014


Tom Gates book 4
by Liz Pichon
320 pp. Scholastic £6.99. (Ages 9 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

     This book won an award for the best book for children in 2012. It was also the winner of the Waterstones book prize in 2012. In my opinion, this book is suitable for all ages. The main character in this book is Tom Gates.(as you may have guessed.)

     Tom goes through a lot of embarrassing phases and unbearable shocks. One of the 'embarrassing phases' was when his dad started a fitness regime, and wore really tight cycling shorts and a vest. One of the unbearable shocks was when he saw his sister... WITHOUT HER SUNGLASSES! His sister always wears her sunglasses and she NEVER takes them off. But when he saw her without them, it made him so shocked that he was late for school.

     He has one shocking sister, an embarrassing mum and an extremely embarrassing dad. His best friend is called Derek, and he plays in a band with Derek and Norman - his other friend. His arch enemy is Marcus and he has to sit next to him in class.

     Tom Gates: Genius Ideas is a genius idea. It is a very funny book and I'm sure you would enjoy reading it, just like I did.

Monday, 3 November 2014


WondLa trilogy book 3
by Tony DiTerlizzi
496 pp. Simon & Schuster $17.99. (Ages 10 and up)


Rating: 5 Stars

    In most adventure books the main character is a boy and the girls are all quite weak, which disturbs me. However, in this book a girl (Eva Nine) is extremely brave, a hero and the main character. Eva Nine was created in a lab, which means that she isn’t a proper person so she’s supposed to be controlled by normal people, although she's still the one who saves Wondla. For these reasons she is my favorite character.

    This book started with Eva Nine having gone into hiding with Hailey in the forest. They did this so they weren't captured by Loroc, who had already consumed his own sisters to make himself more powerful, and now hoped to consume his brother Zin also. Eva Nine had an idea for where Zin was hiding and got a trader in goods to take her there. When she got there she asked him for help and warned him about Loroc. He agreed to help her but before they could speak anymore they were attacked by Loroc's warships. Luckily, Eva Nine managed to escape; Zin, however, wasn't so lucky and got captured. Having escaped, Eva and Hailey went to Eva's alien friend Rovender and his tribe to ask them for help in trying to thwart Loroc's evil plan. They agreed and together the unlikely team did their best to stop Loroc …
    One of the things that makes this book unique and amazing are the illustrations. Tony DiTerlizzi is an inspiration to me because he is one in few writers who write long books and illustrate them. This inspires me because I love drawing and writing and if I ever write a book I would like to illustrate it myself. He also inspires me because normally fantasy and sci-fi writers only use well known magical characters like werewolves, fairies, witches, vampires, ghosts and wizards, maybe inventing one or two more creatures, whereas, Tony DiTerlizzi invents a whole new world of them. When you read, notice how it uses allusion to older stories like the Oz stories, and even the Grimm brothers’ fairytales, except more modern. For example, they all invent new imaginary worlds. The Wondla stories are especially like the Oz stories because they both have a young girl making new, sometimes strange, friends, in a magical world. I suppose “Alice in Wonderland” sort of fits in with them too, but I think that it doesn’t completely, because while the other stories have a fixed goal (finding home) “Alice in Wonderland” seems sort of muddled.
    As this is such a good book I won’t restrict it too much to one age group. I think the right reader for this book is any one over 8 who liked the last two books and can read well. As this book was amazing, it definitely deserves five out of five stars.

also on the Guardian Children's Books Site

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


by Susan Hill
208 pp. Vintage £7.99. (Ages 15 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

    This book started off on Christmas day with a man called Arthur thinking about his past and then deciding to write a book about the experience he had with a ghost when he was younger. He decides to write a book about his experience for the other members of his family to read. The rest of the book is the book he wrote about his experience with the woman in black. It starts of with him going to an old house to sort out the papers of a lady who died. He decides to go to the lady’s funeral as he is sorting out her things. Surprisingly, he is basically the only person there. At her funeral he sees a lady wearing all black with bluish white skin. Strangely, when he asks who she is no one seems to want to talk about her. Also he begins to hear strange noises at night even though no one except him is inside the house. To find out more, read the book.     The main character in this book was Arthur. However, he was not my favourite character. The dog, called Spider, was my favourite character because he seemed like such a good dog and helped Arthur not be so afraid of the strange noises in the night and of the woman in black.
    The scariest part of this book was when Arthur and his dog, Spider, heard the noise of someone dog whistling. At that point, Spider ran off and got stuck in the quicksand and nearly died. Luckily Arthur barely managed to pull Spider out without going under himself. The strange thing was, no one was near them for miles around. This was my favourite part because it was much more scary than the rest of the book as, firstly, the dog and Arthur nearly died and secondly no one could have whistled to Spider but someone did.     The worst part of this book was the entire first half, as I found it quite boring. My main reason for thinking this is that nothing scary happened at the beginning. Instead there is suspense, but no promise that the story will build up to a real ghost story. Suspense is good…but you have to make more things happen than seeing a strange looking lady and hearing whispers about her. Basically, you shouldn't leave all the scary and exciting bits to the end.
    The reason I read this book was for school as we were learning about suspense writing. In my opinion this book had extremely good descriptive and suspense writing because she conceals who the woman at the funeral is, only letting on that she’s a sinister and spooky character, but was a bit too slow and boring for my taste. However if you are a writer and need ideas for how to write a ghost story then this book is perfect because your getting shivers up your spine throughout most of the story.
    I think this book deserves 3.5 out of five stars because it was scary and sad, but a bit too dull for me. I would recommend that if you are under 10 you definitely don't read this book because you will probably find it very boring, as it is quite slow and action lacking. If you are older you may like it, but I suggest you wait until your 15 to read it because or else it may be hard to enjoy it because although you don’t need quite so much action to make it interesting when your about 13, but it would still probably be too slow. I also suggest that if you dislike scary or sad books you don't read this as it's quite scary and has a really sad ending.
    I realize this review has been a bit contradictory so I shall explain my muddled feelings as well as I can. On the one hand I feel that this is definitely not a page turner, spends to much time on the boring parts and that I wouldn’t recommend it to most people. However, on the other hand I appreciate that it does send some shivers up your spine and that when you are on the scary/sad parts she does write very well. I hope this has helped explain my contradictory feelings to you, I apologise for not being able to pick one side.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


by Richard Brassey
24 pp. Orion Childrens. £4.99. (Ages 7 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

    This book review is for football fans just in time for the World Cup. This is a nonfiction book about the FIFA World Cup. People fight in football. English people decided the rules for football. A team close to England called Scotland won the 1888 World Cup, before the FIFA World Cup started. Pele is the best football player in Brazil, the world, and forever.
    I like how the book includes sets from the FIFA World Cup. I think that 6,7,8, 9 and 10-year-olds would like this book because it has easy words and hard words. Girls should buy this book.

also on the Guardian Children's Books Site

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Elf Boy and Raven Girl Book 4
by Marcus Sedgwick
illustrated by Pete Williamson
176 pp. Orion. £6.99. (Ages 8 and up)


Rating: 4 Stars

     This book was set in a fantasy town called Terror Town where creatures like werewolves and zombies existed. The main characters were Elf Girl and Raven Boy whose real names were not revealed. They went to Terror Town to get the Singing Sword so that they could defeat the Goblin King.
     I think this book is good for children who can read well but still like shorter books with pictures inside. This book definitely deserves four out of five stars.
     Even though this book was for the most part just a funny and scary story, the main characters do grow on you. Eventually you begin to see that even though they act like they dislike each other, they are actually really good friends. A good thing about this book is that even if you haven't read the first books in the series it still makes sense. I feel a bit sorry for Raven Boy because Elf Girl bosses him around.
     My favourite characters are Elf Girl and Raven Boy. Elf Girl is my favourite character because she has a cool arrow and is really brave. Raven Boy is my favourite character because even though he seems quite shy, he's actually very brave and kind.


by Sherman Alexie
illustrated by Ellen Forney
236 pp. Andersen. £6.99. (Ages 14 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

This book is about an Native American boy that is called junior. Junior is a poor boy that lives in the reservation* filled with Native American people. Junior is always bullied by most of the people in his school. One day, a teacher tells him to go to a new school to find hope for the himself, but he upsets his best friend. He goes to the new school and got bullied a few times but, after he manage to protect himself he made new friends. Not everything was perfect in his life…

    This book is very interesting. This book has many emotions to it. Some parts are funny, gross, sad, crazy and awesome. When there is a part that is sad or makes you angry, the author puts in a joke to make you laugh. The book also has pictures that tell more about the character. the book tells a story of real person from the reservation.
*reservation means a place that keeps Native Americans

    The most interesting part of the book is when Junior got to be a normal kid in school. He didn’t get bullied or teased by any of the students that bullied him the first day he came. You know how he did that? He punched the bully! I know its bit violent but I found it’s quite funny, because the bully became nice after junior punched him and it’s also wrong to do that! Then the next day the boy who got punched by Junior was friends with him.

    The most emotional part for me was when his best friend died. His best friend was a dog from the reservation. The dog was very sick so the dad of junior had to put him down. Every time I read that part I cry. Maybe you aren’t that emotional but you’ll find a part that will break your heart. Most of the book is emotional.

    The worst part is when junior got bullied by 3 mean people. They also life in the same reservation. Every time junior goes to the bar they always bully him even though they are already adults. But his best friend had a better idea; his idea was to cut their hair. You know that it takes ages for a Native American to grow their hair. Well it’s a great idea. The next morning they still didn’t know who cut their hair.

    This book is very funny and interesting. It tells you about a real human being who lives in a real reservation. This book also tells a moral that Sais not to bully others that are different from you. When you get bullied always stand up for you self. This book is a good for children to read and learn new things about the world. Never stop reading about the world.
Thank you

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


by Cornelia Funke
64 pp. Barrington Stoke Ltd. £6.99. (Ages 8 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

When I stared to read chapter 2 I noticed that I saw a dirty word called "stupid". So, if I changed it to "not very good" it would make it a better book.

Wonder how does the boy called Matt turn in to a werewolf? Read the book to find out.


by Marcus Sedgwick
384 pp. Orion £9.99. (Ages 11 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

    How do writers describe the world in the books that you read? Take a look at a book you are reading, or have read recently and find a description of a person, place or thing. I would bet in most cases that the writer notes how things would look if you could be there and see what the writer describes. How often do the books you read have descriptions of the smell, feel, and sound of things? If you can see and have normal vision then imagine if you did not or were even born blind. What would it be like? How would a writer describe the world from the perspective of a person with a visual impairment?
    Marcus Sedgwick, author of She is Not Invisible, performs several incredible feats of writing. For example, although he is a sighted person himself, he takes on the perspective of not being able to see and instead describes the world through the other senses. Most impressively, like a magician, he performs this and other deeds without drawing attention to them. I was particularly moved by a few passages that inspired the title. In those, the main character (described by my reviewing partner below) talks about how sighted people seem to be the ones who are visually impaired because they do not truly see what and who are around them. Are there people you do not see? Are you paying attention to the way the world smells, feels and sounds? That’s a dad’s perspective on the book; here is a daughter’s:
    This book was more interesting than other books because it was a bit like a puzzle. It was like a puzzle because Laureth (the main character) had a father with a favourite number that he sees everywhere. Is it coincidence, or is the universe trying to tell him something? This book was also interesting because as the main character was blind and, because the story was written in first person, the writer couldn't describe how anything looked, only how it felt, smelt, sounded and tasted.
    This book was about a blind girl called Laureth and her little brother Benjamin. The main plot of the story was that her father had mysteriously disappeared in New York, so, while her mother was away, she took her little brother to New York to look for him. While there she had to save her father’s safe from burglars and do lots of other adventurous things before finally finding him.
    My favourite character was definitely Laureth because she was very brave and strong minded. I like how she became so courageous because she was blind and she did not want anything or anyone to hold her back. I think she shows that it doesn't matter if you are blind, deaf or unable to speak, you can still do anything you want.
    I think all ages should either read, or have this book read to them. However it might be best for people 10-years-old or older to understand the complexities of coincidence and the thoughts of a teenager.
also on the Guardian Children's Books Site

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Frankie's Magic Football book 4
by Frank Lampard
Illustrated by Mike Jackson
112 pp. Hachette £4.99. (Ages 5 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

    This book is about four characters that are friends and go on a school trip. Suddenly they start to play football at the museum, so the teacher called Mrs Murray tells them off. But suddenly they go on a magic adventure to the pyramids to see the king's sister. But they did not have any football tickets for the ancient king.
    I liked the book because I like football – mostly for tackles! I think 6 and 7 year olds will like this book because it is about time travel and because the book is short. I like the ways that the writer makes the book exciting and fun to read.

also on Guardian Children's Books Site

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Scholastic. £29.95. (Ages 8 and up)

Rating: 5 Stars

The Underland Chronicles Book 1
256 pp.
ISBN 9781407137032


The Underland Chronicles Book 2
256 pp.
ISBN 9781407137049


The Underland Chronicles Book 3
288 pp.
ISBN 9781407137056

The Underland Chronicles Book 4
272 pp.
ISBN 9781407137063

The Underland Chronicles Book 5
336 pp.
ISBN 9781407137070

    These amazing books just blew me away, for example, already by the first chapter, I got to thinking about how lucky I was because this book, unlike others, was about a family who had just enough money to live off of. An interesting aspect of the way the story was written was how the writer described humans through the perspective of human-like creatures in the Underland. In the book humans are described as Killers because they kill not only all of the other animals but their own species too. Sadly, it is all too true.
    This series starts off about Gregor and his little sister Boots falling through the laundry chute into the Underland. In the first book, Boots is pronounced 'Princess' by the Crawlers (cockroaches). Meanwhile Gregor is told he is the warrior from the prophecy. At the end, he bonds with a bat, Ares. In the second book Gregor has to go on a long journey to kill the Bane, a large white rat. However, when he gets there he finds that the Bane is barely a pup so he refuses to kill it. In the third book, Gregor’s mother , and Ares, catch a disease. Gregor and some other people go to look for a cure for the disease, only to have it destroyed by the Cutters (ants) immediately. At the end of the story, they find that it was made by the humans and that it was there all along. In the fourth book the Nibblers (mice) mysteriously disappear. Gregor and his friends set off to discover why and are shocked by the terrible truth. In the fifth and final book the biggest war of all time occurs in the Underland and Lizzie, Gregor’s other little sister, breaks the code of claw. At the end Luxa, a human, and Ripred, a Gnawer (rat), bond, therefore ensuring peace between all the humans and Gnawers.
    My favourite characters in this series were Boots, Ares and Luxa. I liked Boots because she seemed so funny and innocent. She made the scary and sad parts in the book seem happy and funny. Luxa was one of my favourites because I felt I could link to her. She was very brave and was always running off on adventures when she wasn't supposed to. I felt sorry for Ares, because he was such a good guy but he was always treated badly and like an outcast. He was always put into positions where he had to make a hard choice, and got scolded afterwards for not choosing the other option even though he would have been treated the same or worse if he had. Sadly, at the end of the last book he got killed.
    I think ages nine and over should read this amazing series. This book definitely deserves five out of five stars.


The Famous Five book 1
by Enid Blyton
192 pp. Hachette Children's Books. £5.99. (Ages 8 and up)


Rating: 4 Stars

    This was a brilliant kids mystery book. Enid Blyton has always been one of my favourite authors but this truly swept me away. As you read this book you truly begin to admire the children for their bravery and courage. Personally, my favourite character is George (short for Georgina) because she refuses to act like a girl and is even more of a boy than most real boys. I'm also a big tomboy so I feel like I can understand her the best. I also like Julian because he is so cheerful and makes everyone around him happy.
    This book is about when Anne, Julian and Dick go to visit their cousin Georgina. Soon they learn that she hates being a girl and won't answer unless you call her George. After awhile they earn her friendship and she agrees to take them to her island with her dog Timothy. While there, they are caught by a storm which causes an old shipwreck to crash against the rocks. Curious, the children explore the ship and find a locked box which has a treasure map of the island. Soon they are on a big treasure hunt. Little do they know that they aren't the only ones looking for the treasure…
    I think this book is good for ages eight to twelve. I definitely give this book four out of five stars.

Sunday, 5 January 2014


by Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters
Illustrated by Didier Conrad
32 pp. International Baccalaureate Organization (UK) Ltd. $10.99. (Ages 5 and up)


Rating: 3.5 Stars

This book review is about Mr Mole trying to find a smart husband for his daughter to marry. And the man Mr Mole wanted her to marry was in the sky, but every time they said no. I think 7 year old children in the Infants Years would like this book because I am 7 and I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed this book but it is a little boring because the same thing basically keeps happening, so I will give this book 3 and a half stars.